Getting Ripped: Day One

weight lifting

When I was fourteen I decided, like so many budding athletes, to take up weight lifting. My stated goal was to bulk up on my upper-body strength. The fact that this was of little use in a sport (hockey) that primarily required leg-strength and skating skills was irrelevant. I was gonna get ripped.

Truth be told, the real reason I wanted a weight machine was to look good in those t-shirts where the sleeves are a bit too short. But you can’t use vanity if you’re trying to finagle a weight machine out of your frugal, cost-conscious parents.

Angel that she is, my Mom bought me a set that included a bench, a bunch of weights, and two bars (one long, one short). We carted the items down to the basement and assembled the bench. Fortunately, Mom stuck around and helped me assemble it — I was (and still am) horrible at following written directions and assembling mechanical devices. If not for her, the weight machine would still be just a pile of nuts and bolts on the floor today.

We finished our assembly. I expected Mom to head upstairs. But she hung around. I think she sensed that some sort of danger was imminent.

“Thanks Mom,” I said, “I’ve got it from here.”

Mom headed upstairs. I lifted the long bar and placed it in the brackets attached to the arms that rose from the bench. And then I did what any fourteen year-old would do — I filled each end of the bar with far too much weight.

I dropped onto the bench and exhaled a few times. I grabbed the bar, pushed it into the air, and immediately knew I was in trouble. My scrawny arms shook with effort, flailing, while the bar floated left and right. I tried to push the bar back up and get it into the brackets, to no avail. Panic set in as I envisioned the bar cracking my ribs or crushing my skull after my arms gave out.

I exhaled dramatically and then gave the bar one huge heave upward. My arms were shaking like jackhammers. I got the bar up to the brackets and let it go. And then I watched it sail behind my head and crash to the floor.

I heard footsteps on the kitchen floor. Mom opened the door to the basement and said “Still alive down there?”

Yes, that day was the start and the end of the world’s shortest workout regimen. I’m pretty sure Mom knew that was going to happen, but she never hinted that she knew. She wasn’t going to crush a dream the way I crushed two of the tiles on her basement floor, and I love her for that.

(photo courtesy of Kittikun Atsawintarangkul/Freedigitalphotos.net)

Thomas Sullivan About Thomas Sullivan

Thomas Sullivan is the author of “So Much Time, So Little Change” (a collection of humor essays). He also writes short posts for the humor website HumorOutcasts.com . Please visit his author website at: www.thomassullivanhumor.com

Thomas Sullivan About Thomas Sullivan

Thomas Sullivan is the author of “So Much Time, So Little Change” (a collection of humor essays). He also writes short posts for the humor website HumorOutcasts.com . Please visit his author website at: www.thomassullivanhumor.com

  • Lei

    No, just no! Hahaha.

  • ASMs

    No more day 2 or so, just day 1 and that’s it.

Smiles For All